Hector Olivera defected from Cuba last September in hopes of signing with an MLB team and he’s drawing plenty of interest.
According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, more than 200 scouts attended a workout for Olivera last week in the Dominican Republic. The 29-year-old second baseman still has to be cleared by the U.S. government before signing with the a team, but Sanchez writes that the Giants, Padres, Rangers, Braves, and Yankees are among the teams showing strong interest in him.
Olivera has long been considered one of the best players in Cuba. In fact, Baseball America ranked him as the No. 6 player in Cuba last August, but he carries some questions due to his age and injury history. He missed the entire 2012-13 season due to thrombosis in his left biceps and hasn’t played in any international competition since. However, he batted .316/.412/.474 with seven home runs over 273 plate appearances in his return to Serie Nacional last season while amassing more walks (38) than strikeouts (25), so he can still get it done with the bat. It’s worth noting that he spent a lot of his time at DH, so he might have to prove that he can stick at second base stateside.